ESTP: The Doer

ESTP is one of the 16 personality types identified by the Jung Personality Test. People with this personality type are frequently described as outgoing, action-oriented and dramatic. According to psychologist David Keirsey, the creator of the Keirsey Temperament Sorter, approximately four to ten percent of people exhibit an ESTP personality.

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ESTP Characteristics

The test looks at personality preferences in four key areas: 1) Extraversion vs Introversion, 2) Sensing vs Intuition, 3) Thinking vs Feeling and 4) Judging vs Perceiving. As you’ve probably already ascertained, the acronym ESTP represents Extraversion, Sensing, Thinking and Feeling. Learn more about an ESTP’s cognitive functions.

  • Extraversion (E): ESTPs are outgoing and enjoy spending time with a wide circle of friends and acquaintances.
  • Sensing (S): ESTPs are interested in the here-and-now and are more likely to focus on details than taking a broader view of things.
  • Thinking (T): ESTPs are logical. When making decisions, they place a higher value on objectivity rather than personal feelings.
  • Perceiving (P): ESTPs don’t like to be pinned down by excessive planning. Instead, they like to improvise and keep their options open.

The following are just a few of the common characteristics exhibited by ESTPs:

  • Gregarious
  • Funny
  • Competitive
  • Good at influencing others
  • Action-oriented
  • Lives in the present
  • Impulsive
  • Adaptable and resourceful
  • Strong interpersonal skills
  • Observant with a strong memory for details
  • Can be dramatic at times
  • Energetic

As extraverts, ESTPs gain energy from being around other people. In social settings, people with this personality type are seen as fun, friendly and charming. According to Keirsey, people with this personality type are particularly skilled at influencing people. ESTPs are not only great at interacting with other people, they have a natural ability to perceive and interpret nonverbal communication. Thanks to these abilities, ESTPs tend to do very well in careers that involve sales and marketing.

Because they are so focused on the present world, ESTPs tend to be realists. They are interested in the sights, sounds and experiences that are going on immediately around them, and they have little use for daydreams or flights of fancy. As sensors, people with this personality type want to touch, feel, hear, taste and see anything and everything that might possibly draw their interest. When learning about something new, it’s not just enough to read about it in a textbook or listen to a lecture – they want to experience it for themselves.

ESTPs also have lots of energy, so they can become bored in situations that are tedious or in learning situations that involve a great deal of theoretical information. ESTPs are the quintessential “doers” – they get straight to work and are willing to take risks in order to get the job done. When confronted by problems, people with this personality type quickly look at the facts and devise an immediate solution. They tend to improvise rather than spend a great deal of time planning.

ESTP Compatibility

ESTPs are most compatible with Sensing-Judging personality types, especially introverted ones such as ISFJ and ISTJ, which tend to complement and balance their own tendencies. Ideally, an ESTP will have a sympathetic Judging type to keep them grounded and persuade them to duly consider the future, while still going along with some of the ESTPs adventures.

They are least compatible with INTJs, as this pair is too directly opposite to have a decent chance at balancing each other. Though any relationship can work, this one is extremely rare.

In relationships, ESTPs look for spontaneity and excitement. They are constantly charming their partner and expressing their feelings through gestures, though they may not speak them outright. In most cases, ESTPs prefer actions to words and ideas.

Famous People With ESTP Personalities

Through looking at their lives and work, researchers have suggested that the following famous individuals exhibit ESTP characteristics:

  • Ernest Hemingway, author
  • James Buchanan, U.S. President
  • Madonna, singer
  • Chuck Yeager, U.S. Air Force General and pilot
  • Donald Trump, businessman
  • Lucille Ball, actress

Famous fictional ESTPs include:

  • Elle Driver, Kill Bill
  • Bart Simpson, The Simpsons
  • James Bond
  • Fred and George Weasley, Harry Potter

ESTP Women

Women are about half as likely as men to be ESTPs. They share many of the same characteristics, but they can appear differently. ESTP women tend to be persuasive, sociable, and rational, and, while they don’t typically let their emotions control them, they can be very compassionate with loved ones.

Best Career Choices for ESTPs

People with an ESTP personality type feel energized when they interact with a wide variety of people, so they do best in jobs that involve working with others. They strongly dislike routine and monotony, so fast-paced jobs are idea. ESTPs have several different personality characteristics that make them well-suited for certain careers. As mentioned previously, because they are so observant and have such strong people skills, ESTPs make great salespeople. Because they are action-oriented and resourceful, they are great in first-responder positions that require fast-thinking and quick responses such as emergency medical personnel and police officers.

  • Sales agent
  • Marketer
  • Entrepreneur
  • Police officers
  • Detectives
  • Computer support technician
  • Paramedic